CH.LXVI DECLINE OF SAFAVI DYNASTY 297
felt for the sacred house, its rule was accepted by the
people until the virility of the nation itself was corrupted.
Then an awful penalty had to be paid in blood and shame
for neglect of all the precautions by which the existence
of states is preserved.
Shah Soft, A,H. 1038-1052 (1629-1642).—Shah Abbas,
when dying, ordered that Sam Mirza, son of the un-
fortunate Safi Mirza, should be proclaimed his successor.
The new monarch took the title of Shah Safi, and his
reign of thirteen years was one long chapter of executions.
He murdered the princes of the blood royal, and even
some of the princesses, and, not content with thus secur-
ing his power, deliberately put to death all his grandfather's
most trusted councillors and generals. Among his victims
was Imam Kuli Khan, the conqueror of Hormuz. We
learn from Tavernier and Olearius, who with Chardin
constitute our chief authorities for the period, that the
great noble was warned not to venture to court, but
relying on his long years of faithful service he obeyed
the summons and was put to death. His sons shared
his fate, lest they should avenge his death when they
The Holstein Embassy, 1637.—The pioneer efforts of
Jenkinson'to trade with Persia across Russia ended in
failure, as recorded in Chapter LXII. A fresh effort was
made in the seventeenth century from a new quarter, but
by the same route. The silk manufactures of Holstein
were considerable and, the raw silk of Persia attracting
the attention of its merchants, the Duke decided to
despatch Brucman, a Hamburg merchant who had
originated the scheme, on an embassy to the Shah.
The mission made disadvantageous arrangements with
the Grand Duke of Muscovy for free transit, and upon
arriving in Persia found that the freight and customs
charges would eat up all the profits. Brucman, to avoid
returning empty-handed, then tried to negotiate an
alliance against Turkey. The failure and blunders which
cost him his life are recorded in the work of Adam
Olearius,1 who was the secretary of the mission. The
1 Relation dt voyage^ Paris, 1639.